Thursday, March 12, 2009

Teacher of the Year...Too!

(I really wanted to post this last night; but, the hubby "fixed" our internet connection...except he didn't...he broke it worse instead! I still love him though. He was all distracted being Jesus to our neighbor whose house was broken into. He helped him put on a new back door in the freezing cold rain!)

ANYWAY...I don't know why; but, several (and by several, I mean almost ALL) of my closest friends happen to be teachers. Some are pre-school, some are home school, some are public school teachers...but, I hang out with lots of educators. In my opinion, they are some of the best educators around!

Case in point: Two days ago, I got to be a part of my BFF Jenny's surprise announcement of "Teacher of the Year" at West. My friends Marcy and Emily were both nominated for "Teacher of the Year" at BHE. Then, yesterday morning, I get a text from someone (who was not texting me from work!) announcing Emily was awarded "Teacher of the Year!"

Which brings me to the reason I'm posting in the first place: WAY TO GO MISS ESTES!!! Miss Estes is not only my friend but she happens to have also taught two of my kiddos! (Abbee came home and told me about Miss Estes winning and added..."she gets that every year 'cause she is the best teacher!" This is not exactly true...the "every year" part...but, she has been nominated three years in a row!)

Emily is one of those people who remind me that nothing in this life happens by chance or coincidence; but, every "chance encounter" is actually a beautifully orchestrated plan in which God allows us to play a part.

When JP was in third grade, she wanted to try out for UIL spelling. I, of course, let her and Miss Estes officially entered our lives. Miss Estes was JP's UIL spelling coach and JP LOVED HER! So, when it came time to think about who should be her fourth grade teacher, Miss Estes was my top pick. I didn't know that much about her; but, I did know that she had made a BIG IMPRESSION on both Jordan (who was in third grade) and Abbee (who was in first). I remember Abbee saying, "yea, she even plays basketball with her class at recess!"

Although I had never requested a specific teacher for any of my kiddos, I thought being JP's last year at BHE, I would go for it! So, I boldly requested Miss Estes for her 4th grade teacher. Imagine my disgust when I learned that the teachers were told that anyone who had requested a teacher COULD NOT have that teacher. (This gave me a great opportunity to deal with my anger issues! I was SO ANGRY. I knew that parents requested teachers ALL THE TIME and the administration picked this year to make a point.) Anyway, I had no other choice but to give it God; so, that is exactly what I did. I prayed all summer that JP would have the teacher God thought was best for her.

I guess it shouldn't have surprised me; but, OH I WAS SO SURPRISED when the teacher postcards came in the mail and Jordan's teacher was indeed Miss Estes. I didn't learn until much later how it had all played out; but, if you had a cup of coffee, and this post wasn't already so long, I'd tell you that it was so much the very hand of God at work and you would just be amazed...because there is absolutely no other explaination for it.

I knew that Jordan had just landed a top-notch teacher. What I didn't know was that I had just landed a top-notch friend. God's beautifully orchestrated plan in action!

This year, through another series of wild events, Abbee has also been a part of Miss Estes' class. The difference in my child is incredible. Jordan has always had a passion for learning; but, Abbee (while completely smart and capable) has never really been passionate about it...until now. I remember early in the school year Abbee crying in her bed because she was supposed to look at the moon and draw it for her homework assignment and it just so happened the moon was no where to be found. I remember her exact words as she sobbed, "I don't want to be the one who lets the whole class down." WOW. Abbee had bought in to Miss Estes' philosophy of teaching ("we all succeed together"...which is my own paraphrase of it!) hook, line, and sinker! And, her passion for learning has been ignited!

So, Emily, I want to publicly say thank you. Thank you for doing your job with excellence. Thank you for knowing that every kid matters. Thank you for approaching your work as if you are working for God himself. Thank you for knowing that you are working for God. You are indeed making a difference. You have indeed made a difference in two young lives that happen to be pretty important to me. And, you have also made a tremendously positive addition to mine. I'm truly grateful for who you are and all you have done to enrich our lives.


  1. Seriously, Shellee! Between you and Kristy I'm about to have to go get a tissue! Wow, thanks for your kind words and I'm equally, but probably way more, blessed by you and your great family!

    God is good and definitely has every little detail worked out! :)